Published by Aperture. Introduction and epilogue by Josh Kun.
This project presents a unique collaboration between photographer Richard Misrach and composer and performer Guillermo Galindo. Misrach has been photographing the 2,000-mile border between the US and Mexico since 2004, with increased focus since 2009—the latest installation in his ongoing series Desert Cantos, a multifaceted approach to the study of place and man’s complex relationship to it. Misrach and Galindo have been working together to create pieces that both document and transform the artifacts of migration. Using water bottles, clothing, backpacks, Border Patrol "drag tires," spent shotgun shells, ladders and sections of the border wall itself, most of which were collected by Misrach, Galindo fashions instruments to be performed as unique sound-generating devices. He also imagines graphic musical scores, many of which also use Misrach’s photographs as points of departure. A unique melding of the artist as documentarian and interpreter, the book includes several suites of photographs drawn from a number of distinct series or Cantos, some made with a large-format camera as well as an iPhone. The book contains a compilation of two dozen sculpture-instruments, graphic scores, instrument designs and links to videos of performances by Galindo. Richard Misrach (born 1949) is one of the most influential color photographers of his generation. His work is held in collections including The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, all in New York, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. In 2012 Misrach collaborated with Aperture to launch a book and exhibition titled Petrochemical America, exploring the health and environmental issues surrounding the Mississippi River industrial corridor, otherwise known as "Cancer Alley." Guillermo Galindo is an experimental composer. His interpretations of concepts such as musical form, time perception, music notation, sonic archetypes and sound-generating devices span a wide spectrum of artistic works performed and shown at major festivals, concert halls and art exhibitions throughout the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
Since the publication of Richard Misrach's bestselling and critically acclaimed publication On the Beach, he has continued to photograph at the same location, building a body of work that has been exhibited as On the Beach 2.0—a reference to the technological and optical developments that have made the intensely detailed, exquisitely rendered depictions possible. The Mysterious Opacity of Other Beings focuses less on the abstraction of water, sand and mote-sized figures, instead honing in on the gestures and expressions of bathers adrift in the ocean. Misrach has rarely ventured into portraiture; this work is his first to focus exclusively on the human figure. Each photograph features one or more individuals crisply rendered from a distance, as they seem to levitate among turquoise waves, isolated from everything save the shifting patterns of the ocean. There is ambiguity and a sense of the uncanny in the figures suspended in the water: are they approaching the shore or moving away from it? Each image is presented both as full frame and as a series of enlarged details that enable the viewer to linger on each individual's surrender of their body to the sea. Richard Misrach (born 1949) is one of the most influential color photographers of his generation. His work is held in the collections of over 50 major institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. The exhibit On the Beach traveled to several museums in 2004, including The Art Institute of Chicago; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and National Gallery of Art. In 2012 Misrach collaborated with Aperture to launch a book and exhibition titled Petrochemical America, a series of photographs that explores the health and environmental issues surrounding the Mississippi River industrial corridor, otherwise known as "Cancer Alley." Images from the project are featured in the Emmy-nominated title sequence of HBO's True Detective.
Now available in a compact and easy-to-reference paperback edition, Petrochemical America features Richard Misrach’s haunting photographic record of Louisiana’s Chemical Corridor, accompanied by landscape architect Kate Orff’s Ecological Atlas--a series of "speculative drawings" developed through research and mapping of data from the region. Their joint effort depicts and unpacks the complex cultural, physical and economic ecologies along 150 miles of the Mississippi River, from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, an area of intense chemical production that first garnered public attention as "Cancer Alley" when unusual occurrences of cancer were discovered in the region. This collaboration has resulted in an unprecedented, multilayered document presenting a unique narrative of visual information. Petrochemical America offers in-depth analysis of the causes of decades of environmental abuse along the largest river system in North America. Even more critically, the project offers an extensively researched guidebook to the way in which the petrochemical industry has permeated every facet of contemporary life. What is revealed over the course of the book, however, is that Cancer Alley--although complicated by its own regional histories and particularities--may well be an apt metaphor for the global impact of petrochemicals on the human landscape as a whole. Richard Misrach (born 1949) has a longstanding association with the American south. His previous monograph, Destroy This Memory, offered a record of hurricane-inspired graffiti left on houses and cars in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina. On the Beach and Violent Legacies addressed contamination of desert and beach areas. Kate Orff (born 1971) is an assistant professor at Columbia University and founder of SCAPE, a landscape architecture studio in Manhattan. Her work weaves together sustainable development, design for biodiversity and community-based change. Orff’s recent exhibition at MoMA, Oyster-tecture, imagined the future of the polluted Gowanus Canal as part of a ground-up community process and an ecologically revitalized New York harbor.
In the early 2000s, Richard Misrach (born 1949) began a series titled On the Beach, a body of work that traveled extensively and has been highly influential. These color photographs deal with the human figure seen at a distance, on an unspecified beach or in the water, observed from an unsettling and difficult-to-identify point of view located high above. Misrach has continued this work, while vast changes in photographic technology over the intervening decade have caused a shift in approach, both conceptually and technically. Untitled is an artist book based on two photographs: the one made by Misrach and the other made concurrently, at the time of exposure, by the subjects of his photograph. The extreme detail explored in this work concisely summates both the artist’s concerns and the ubiquity of digital technology as we are portrayed and portray ourselves.
PUBLISHER FRAENKEL GALLERY
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 15.5 x 11.75 in. / 32 pgs / 16 color.
PUBLISHING STATUS PUB DATE 7/31/2013 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. EXCLUSIVE CATALOG: FALL 2013 p. 93
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781881337348TRADE LIST PRICE: $45.00 CDN $55.00
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Petrochemical America offers an in-depth analysis of the causes of sustained environmental abuse along the largest river system in North America. It combines Richard Misrach’s haunting photographs of Louisiana’s “Chemical Corridor” with landscape architect Kate Orff’s “Ecological Atlas”--a series of speculative drawings developed through intensive research and mapping of data from the region. Misrach and Orff’s joint effort depicts and unpacks the complex cultural, physical and economic ecologies of a particular region along 150 miles of the Mississippi River, from Baton Rouge to New Orleans--an area of intense chemical production that became known as “Cancer Alley” when unusually high occurrences of the disease were discovered in the region. This revelatory collaboration has resulted in a complex document and an extensively researched guidebook to the ways in which the petrochemical industry has permeated every facet of contemporary life. However complicated by the region’s own histories and particularities, “Cancer Alley” may well be an apt metaphor for the global impact of petrochemicals on the human landscape as a whole. Richard Misrach (born 1949) has a longstanding association with the American south. His previous monograph, Destroy This Memory, offered a record of hurricane-inspired graffiti left on houses and cars in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina. On the Beach and Violent Legacies addressed contamination of desert and beach areas. Kate Orff (born 1971) is an assistant professor at Columbia University and founder of SCAPE, a landscape architecture studio in Manhattan. Her work weaves together sustainable development, design for biodiversity and community-based change. Orff’s recent exhibition at MoMA, Oyster-tecture, imagined the future of the polluted Gowanus Canal as part of a ground-up community process and an ecologically revitalized New York harbor.
This deluxe album, a selection of the finest photographs from Richard Misrach’s acclaimed Golden Gate series (previously published in a smaller trim size, now out of print), has been assembled for publication on the historic occasion of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the iconic Golden Gate bridge. In 1997 Misrach began a three-year project photographing the bridge at all times of day and night, in every season, from a single vantage point on his front porch. Within this simple framework, in which the subject and its framing remain fixed in every photograph, an alchemy occurs. An astonishing range of atmosphere, light, and color unfolds, bringing fresh revelation and interpretation to a familiar view--a unique and beautiful photographic meditation on place and time. This special album commemorates one of the most iconic and lasting symbols of American progress and ingenuity. Richard Misrach (born 1949) is credited with helping pioneer the renaissance of color photography and large-scale presentation in the 1970s. He has exhibited extensively, and his work is held in the permanent collections of prestigious institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and The Art Institute of Chicago. He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship and four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2011, Misrach’s series Destroy This Memory was installed in its entirety at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art along with simultaneous exhibitions of his work at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and the Oakland Museum of California. Misrach is represented by Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York; and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles. He lives in Berkeley, California.
The photographs in Richard Misrach's Destroy This Memory are a stark, affecting reminder of the physical and psychological impact of Hurricane Katrina as told by those on the ground, and seen through the lens of a contemporary master. Rather than simply surveying the damage, Misrach--who has photographed the region regularly since the 1970s, most notably for his ongoing Cancer Alley project--found himself drawn to the hurricane-inspired graffiti: messages scrawled in spray paint, crayons, chalk or whatever materials residents and rescue workers happened to have on hand. At turns threatening, desperate, clinical and even darkly humorous, the phrases he captures--the only text that appears in the book--offer revealing and unique human perspectives on the devastation and shock left in the wake of this disaster. Destroy This Memory presents previously unpublished and starkly compelling material, all of which Misrach shot with his 4 MP pocket camera while also working on a separate archive of over 1,000 photographs with his 8 x 10 large-format camera. Created between October and December 2005, this series of images serves as a potent, unalloyed document of the raw experiences of those left to fend for themselves in the aftermath of Katrina. With no essay, titles or even page numbers in the way, the words on these homes, cars and trees offer a searing testament that continues to speak volumes, five years after their original inscription. Richard Misrach (born 1949) is credited with helping to pioneer the renaissance of color photography and large-scale presentation in the 1970s. He has exhibited extensively, and his work is held in the permanent collections of prestigious institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Art Institute of Chicago.
Richard Misrach, one of today's most prolific contemporary masters, is internationally renowned for his carefully considered, beautifully rendered epic works. In On the Beach, a lavishly produced, oversized monograph that features the long-awaited publication of this spectacular series, Misrach hones in on our delicate relationship to the sea. Light, color, and form are crucial components in Misrach's explorations of difficult subjects. In this body of work he uses a gorgeous, slowly shifting color palette gleaned from changes in depth and tide; abstract patterns of waves and rippling water, and beaches both empty and cluttered. Throughout the series, Misrach carefully balances the minutiae of human gesture against the massive scale of the sea. In some images, a lone figure floats in a liquid field of brilliant turquoise--or in others, lies beached and partially buried. The details in the images are frequently ambiguous. Are the figures relaxed or drained of life? Cavorting in the surf or panicking in the riptide? The balance is a fragile one between control and surrender to the elements. As Misrach says, the work is "suffused with a sense of the sublime, but it also begins to expose our vulnerability and fragility as human beings." At 20 x 16 inches, On the Beach is the largest book ever published by Aperture, and also the first major publication of new work by Misrach in many years. It accompanies a major touring exhibition, with stops in Chicago, Honolulu, Seattle and at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.--a venue that very rarely shows the work of living artists.
Published by D.A.P./Fraenkel Gallery. Photographs by Richard Misrach.
Richard Misrach is among the most influential, prolific and internationally recognized photographers working today. Best known for his epic ongoing project, Desert Cantos--an extensive and unique photographic exploration of place--Misrach consistently addresses political and social issues through the adaptation of different photographic strategies, even as he expands notions of traditional landscape practice, and builds a complex and poignant document of American culture. His subjects have included manmade floods and fires, military bombing ranges, mass graves of dead animals, sublime night skies and details of paintings housed in the museums of the Southwest. In one recent series, On the Beach--which was inspired by Nevil Shute's postapocalyptic novel of the 1950s--Misrach's color photographs deal with the human figure seen at a distance on an unspecified beach or in the water, observed from an unsettling and difficult-to-identify point of view located high above. Misrach's newest publication, Chronologies is a compelling study of the photographer's process over the past 30 years. Stripped of their original context, the photographs--presented in chronological order--illuminate how the photographer thinks and works. Through fits and starts, reiterations and detours, the work evolves and matures, weaving in and out of the series for which Misrach has become known. Side-by-side, classic images and never-before-seen pictures flesh out the photographer's logic and complicate it at the same time. Ultimately, Chronologies is about time: The span of 30 years, the importance of time in each photograph, the chronology of a life within its time, and the book itself as a timepiece.
Aperture is delighted to reissue Richard Misrach's highly acclaimed publication, Golden Gate. The photographs for Golden Gate were made over a three-year period from a single vantage point on the artist's front porch, overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Photographed at all times of day and night, in every season, the pictures reveal an astonishing range of changing weather, light and color. The rigorous execution of a simple premise brings a fresh appreciation to this famous western vista. Misrach's photographs are illuminated by important essays by noted art historian T.J. Clark and geographer Richard Walker. Geoff Dyer writes of the work: “We are in the presence of that uniquely photographic and uniquely American phenomenon: the documentary sublime. [Golden Gate] takes you, metaphorically and literally, as far west as you can get. Just as Frederic Edwin Church's colossal “Niagara” (1857) still surpasses the iconic familiarity of the location, so Misrach's pictures make us see an overphotographed subject in a new light; literally. But the light that shrouds, frames, drenches and (always) dwarfs the bridge is also historical. It is as if the sky of every one of the paintings on show at Tate Britain has, at some point, ended up in the Bay Area... Church's rainbow even turns up in one of them. All--even the ones that are completely abstract, just air, color, light--attest to a verifiable truth: at that moment it really looked like this. We have arrived at a vision of the sublime that is literal and absolute. It is impossible to go any further.”